One thing I’ve come to realize through my journey on this sad little planet is that I’ve always operated under the baseline assumption that I am not enough.
No matter what situation I approach, I assume I will have to catch up.
I assume people will think the worst of me.
I assume I will fail.
And most ingrained in all of my basic functioning is that I always assume that I am a burden to others.
In short, I unconsciously presume in all of my interactions, all of my decisions and in all of my actions, that I am fundamentally flawed: that I am not enough, no matter how hard I try. I am less, no matter what.
There are a number of reasons why I have come to assume these things, but that has taken me literally four years of therapy to untangle. I won’t get into it.
One thing I will say though, is that it is a terrifying realization.
I suppose part of therapy is learning to become aware of your mind’s automatic responses to things in order to hopefully realign them more healthfully, and one of mine, I’ve learned, has always been “aw but you’re not good enough for that” as a baseline hypothesis to ANYTHING and EVERYTHING I do. It’s not even a matter of being self-pitying or wanting attention, or being depressive. Up to this point, it’s been entirely subconscious, and I’ve only recently become aware of it.
This is something I’ve now realized has become part of my fundamental makeup, a baseline operator in how I actually perceive reality, as insidiously obvious as how I see colour or how I know coffee is hot. Like a fundamental truth you take for granted, because you don’t have time every day to question, re-evaluate and then marvel at the fact that yes, coffee is indeed hot. It’s ingrained beyond emotional response; it’s become a rational fact.
In short, if everyone begins at a zero on the axis, I automatically begin the race at a -10.
Again, I can’t stress enough to you how absolutely terrifying realizing that is.
For those who know me, it might even have seemed blatantly obvious from the outside looking in, but to me, it’s been like discovering that every single thing you’ve ever done in your life, every thought you’ve had, was being undermined by some evil little gnome you didn’t even know was there, driving the train the entire time. Redirecting your life towards darker places when all along, you just thought that’s what the normal itinerary was.
To continue with the questionable metaphors, it’s kind of like if realizing that your house is built on an ancient burial ground for evil gnomes; shit’s been flying all over the place for years causing all sorts of damage to anyone and everything in there, and well yeah; now it finally makes sense. But your foundations are fucked big time after all those years of quakes and poltergeist, and you’ve got no choice but to stay; there’s no moving out.
So what do I do? Call a priest? Is it too little too late?
After all, becoming aware of a problem doesn’t exactly solve it, and I’m fresh out of gnome-be-gone.
I wrote about this because I’m feeling absolutely drained lately. Completely depressed, completely unhappy with where I am in life. I’ve failed at everything, and I don’t feel like I’m enough for this world, or for anyone. Not strong enough, not smart or hardworking enough, not resilient enough for all of the things I wanted in life. Not gutsy enough, not confident enough, not kind enough, not organized enough, not determined enough, not responsible enough, not anything. These are on repeat in my head constantly. I don’t think I need to explain that it’s a horrible, helpless feeling. Like you’re already too late. Like you’ve failed before even realizing what it is you wanted, before you’ve even begun. I’m entirely envious of those who don’t have that soundtrack in their brains, who don’t have that weight shackled to their foot as they face their own challenges.
And knowing why it feels this way is barely a consolation. Realizing you’ve sabotaged yourself without meaning to for years, is wholly unsatisfying. If anything, it only contributes to feeding the gnomes even more. It’s terrifying. Because I’m not strong enough.
I’m fighting a perpetual battle against myself, while fighting the battles that life throws at everyone.
And I’m losing.